Georgia Governor Nathan Deal held a press conference on Monday to announce that he will veto the controversial HB 757 bill. The bill, called the ‘religious liberty’ bill would have allowed for organizations to discriminate against same-sex couples without fear of losing state funding.
Several companies that have operations in Georgia, such as Disney/Marvel, and The Walking Dead, threatened to pull out of filming in Georgia if the bill was to pass. Apple, Time Warner, Intel, and Salesforce were among the other companies that called on the Deal to veto the bill. Even the NFL warned that passing the bill could influence Atlanta’s chances to host the Superbowl. Gov. Deal responded to this by saying “I do not respond very well to insults or to threats.”
The governor did state that he found language in the bill of “concern” and that he wants Georgia to be a place where people want to live and work: “I do not think we have to discriminate against anyone to protect the faith-based communities of Georgia… Georgia is a welcoming state. It is full of loving, kind, and generous people. And that’s what we should want…Our people work side by side without regard to the color of our skin, or the religion we adhere to. We are working to make life better for our families and our communities. That is the character of Georgia. I intend to do my part to keep it that way. For that reason, I will veto HB 757.”
Prominent and religious conservatives are extremely angry over the veto, and vow to revive it next year. This is the third time that they have attempted to pass legislation to strengthen their legal protections from opponents of gay marriage.